Walking the road to closure

Walking the road to closure

While most of us struggle with emotional baggage, there are some who seem to be able to move on just fine. So, what is it that these people have and you don't? The answer is closure.
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Are you in pain? Don’t look around for an answer. Try some self-analysis. Perhaps the answer lies within.

Everyone has their share of emotional baggage. It could be the loss of a loved one, betrayal, heartbreak or a traumatic experience. While most of us struggle with our emotional issues, we sometimes dwell on them for so long that they begin to define us. We no longer know what life would be without them. But there are a few who let go of their emotional baggage and stroll leisurely through life.

So, what is it that these people seem to have and you don’t? The answer is quite simple—closure.

Closure means letting go of something that once was. Most people find it difficult to get over pain, although it has nothing to do with its intensity. It is the way we treat it. Denying its existence does more damage than good, while pretending to be strong doesn’t help either. Feeling sorry for ourselves is the worst thing to do. When we resort to measures like these, the pain doesn’t stop. It only gets better for the time being, and then without warning, returns with a vengeance.

Closure is a point that has to be reached to achieve peace of mind. So, let’s take it step-by-step.

Unpack the emotional baggage

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” – Ann Landers, American columnist.

Acceptance is the biggest and most crucial part of getting rid of your emotional baggage. Stop denying what happened. It could be embarrassing, awkward or hurtful; but once you say it out loud, you will feel better. The longer you wait, the more baggage you accumulate. But once you accept something, you are no longer attached or clouded by that emotion. So, remove the positive and negative and try to view an experience from a pragmatic perspective. And once you feel you have rid yourself of the baggage, maintain it. You need to continually work to prevent accumulating emotional baggage again.

Even if your plans don’t work out the way you thought they would, you will still learn something new and valuable from every step you execute.

Don’t suppress your emotions

Never suppress your emotions, instead, manage them. If you want to cry, then cry. You want to scream, then scream. Take your own time. Don’t let anyone tell you to “just get over it” and rush things. There is no set amount of time and no prescribed way to deal with a loss; it is advisable to take plenty of time. However, do not get so stuck in the past that the grieving goes on for years.

Incomplete grieving, on the other hand, may contribute to poor decision-making in the future. The ability to trust, to be honest and to be yourself is essential for moving on. All past feelings and emotions should be dealt with, expressed and resolved before you move ahead with your life.

Write down what you feel; your diary will not judge you. Talk to someone you can trust. Don’t hold yourself back from discussing your emotions with family, friends or a professional. Choose expressing over suppressing, and the difference will show.

Make a plan

You need to devise a plan for the present and future. Create a plan, a routine that gives you happiness and pushes you to get up and work on it. Determine what is most important to you moving forward. Then, reorder your priorities and explore different opportunities for growth. Get involved in something you believe in–start painting, make music, join dance classes, or start a venture–do whatever makes you happy. Plan away to your heart’s content and don’t hold yourself back. Even if your plans don’t work out the way you thought they would, you will still learn something new and valuable from every step you execute.

Don’t stop living

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” Dale Carnegie

Finding closure means a complete acceptance of everything that has happened-the good and the bad-and then honouring the transition from what was to something that will be. You should talk to yourself, since you can help yourself the best. In your conversation with yourself, both ask and answer. Whatever is revealed, take note of the same.

But, on your path to closure, don’t stop being you and doing things that you always did. Keep doing what you’re doing, especially if it gives you joy. But in the background, in your mind—wait. Time heals the deepest of wounds. Scars will remain but the pain will dull over time.

Well, that’s that. And just in case nothing works, remember these three words ‘Everything is temporary’.

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